NRC and RONA make formal merger announcement

NRC and RONA make formal merger announcement

By Jake Thomas, Resource Recycling

It's been a rough past few years for the National Recycling Coalition, during which the organization flirted with financial collapse. But at the NRC's members and board meetings held last week before the Resource Recycling Conference in Austin, Texas, it was clear that the organization seeks to move past all that as it plans to absorb the Recycling Organizations of North America, while it continues its advocacy work.

"In 2009, we were left for dead," said NRC President Mark Lichtenstein, referring to the $1.5 million budget hole that once threatened to swallow the organization. "We're still in the woods, but we can see the meadow in the distance."

According to the NRC's finance committee co-chairs — Susan Collins, the president of the Container Recycling Institute, and Margretta Morris, director of environmental science and community affairs for Covanta Energy — the organization is bringing in money from sponsorships with waste-to-energy company Covanta Energy, glass recycling company Strategic Materials, the American Forest & Paper Association, the American Chemistry Council and others. Memberships and pledges are also bringing in money, they said.

Lichtenstein noted that his organization would continue to have a presence on the national level, and touched on the work the NRC is doing with the federal government on "sustainable materials management," which is a move away from "waste management" to a more comprehensive and environmentally-conscious way to manage recyclable materials and the waste stream. The NRC, which has 20 state affiliates and 6,000 members, will also be involved in state issues, said Lichtenstein, and will continue to make the economic case for increasing recycling.

Also mentioned was the planned unification of the Recycling Organizations of North America and the NRC. The merger should be completed in the next few months, as soon as the agreement is thoroughly vetted by attorneys who are working pro-bono on the deal, said Lichtenstein.

As part of the unification, RONA will dissolve and donate its assets to the NRC. The new organization will operate under the name "NorthAmerican Recycling Coalition."

The National Standards Certification Board, which develops professional training standards and is operated by RONA, will continue without disruption.

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